retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Walmart this morning reported Q3 revenue of $152.8 billion, up 8.7 percent from the same period a year ago, on same store sales that were up 8.2 percent and 9.8 percent on a two-year stack.  Walmart U.S. comp sales, excluding fuel, were up 3.0 percent.

Walmart also said that its e-commerce growth was 16% year-over-year, and 24% on a two-year stack. 

Doug McMillon, Walmart's president-CEO, released a statement in which he said, "We had a good quarter with strong top-line growth globally led by Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S., along with Flipkart and Walmex. Walmart U.S. continued to gain market share in grocery, helped by unit growth in our food business. We significantly improved our inventory position in Q3, and we’ll continue to make progress as we end the year."

Some context from the New York Times analysis:

"Walmart said the overall number of transactions and the average amount a shopper spent per trip in the United States increased in the third quarter, suggesting high inflation did not deter consumers as much as some had feared.

"Once a beneficiary of pandemic spending habits, Walmart has more recently looked to reset Wall Street expectations, initially slashing its forecast for annual earnings, only to upgrade it in recent earnings reports. The relatively robust earnings in its latest quarter led Walmart’s executives to raise the company’s full-year profit outlook, saying they now expect profit to fall less sharply and revenue to rise more strongly than before.

"Analysts are examining the earnings results closely because they signal how Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, may fare in the crucial fourth quarter, when holiday shopping kicks into high gear. Analysts are expecting that retailers, which enjoyed bumper profits over the course of the pandemic, will see their margins shrink over the next couple of months, as the cost of labor, transportation and materials continues to rise."

KC's View:

One prediction here: Walmart won't announce layoffs anytime soon.